UPDATE: Chevron Refinery may be source of rotten egg odor in SF

The Chevron Refinery in Richmond may be to blame for the rotten egg-like odor that has permeated San Francisco for the past two nights.

That’s according to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, which is investigating all possible sources of the odor that has left firefighters, PG&E officials and others stumped.

In addition to the recent two flaring incidents at Chevron that may have caused the odor, the air quality district is investigating other potential sources, like ships, area landfills and wastewater treatment facilities.

The odor, which resembles a rotten egg or sulfur smell, was first reported late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning. Emergency officials received more than 50 complaints of the odor that night, but couldn’t locate the source.

Then, late Wednesday and early Thursday, more than a dozen additional reports were made of the odor, including at the Fairmont Hotel in the 900 block of Mason Street, said Fire Department spokesperson Jonathan Baxter.

“While crews were on scene, the odor did decrease but was still mildly present,” Baxter said.

PG&E spokesperson Teresa Jimenez said the utility giant received 15 calls early Thursday of the foul odor, but found no gas leaks or loss of service to any customers.

There were no medical complaints associated with the odor.

The air quality district has gathered data from Chevron’s fence line ground-level and nearby air quality monitors, and have learned there was a sulfur release during the first flaring incident at Chevron on Tuesday. The district is still gathering data from air quality monitors for the second flaring incident.

The air district is also looking at weather data as well as operational conditions at potential sources of the odor, which was also experienced in Richmond.

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